5 underbed organizing mistakes –according to professional home organizers

Making sure the key storage space under your bed is maximized can help keep on top of clutter throughout the home

pink bedroom with four poster black bed frame
(Image credit: Future PLC)

Avoiding making mistakes organizing the space underneath your bed can really make a difference when it comes to how neat, tidy, and relaxing your bedroom feels. 

This space is ideal for storing items you don’t use on a daily basis and disguising unsightly mess when done correctly.

That said, organizing under the bed itself is notoriously tricky. That is why you have to build a system with underbed storage ideas that work for you and your bedroom.

Underbed organizing mistakes to avoid 

It is a balancing act between trying to fit as much under the bed as physically possible and having a neatly arranged area that you can go back and forth to with ease.

It is easy to make mistakes when you organize under your bed, as the area you are dealing with can be cramped and difficult to access. Below experts share common bedroom organizing slipups and explain what you can do instead.

bedroom with double bed, window and storage bench

(Image credit: Alice Lane Interiors)

1. Inadequate labeling

Labeling is the way forward if you want to maintain a system that is going to last. If you do not label, there is no way of knowing what is what in a rush or when you actually need it. 

Under the bed can quickly become a chaotic mess if the items, storage containers, and bins are not labeled correctly. You may think you will remember what you put in that box but when it comes to trying to find it, this is where things get complicated. Often resulting in more mess under the bed which leads to it being disorganized.  

Nikki Bell, an organizing professional at Just Us Organizing, says that often if her clients do not label properly under the bed they end up forgetting where they put items and have to look through everything to find what they want. Take it from us, it saves a lot of time and energy if you clearly label in the first place. We recommend investing in a simple label maker, at Amazon.

Nikki Bell
Nikki Bell

Nikki Bell is a professional organizer and Just Us Organizing, an organizing and cleaning company based in Houston, Texas.

2. No categorization

Underbed storage ideas with shoe storage box

(Image credit: The Container Store)

You may be tempted to mix various items together and think this is the best tactic and a good ‘space saver’. 

Gayle Walker, Marie Kondo organizer at Life Doula, says differently: ‘Mixing various items together rather than categorizing them, for example, shoes with linens cause chaos,’ and makes the whole of the under-bed space redundant.

It is harder to keep track of what you have under the bed when everything is grouped together with no clear parameters as to what is in each section. 

A better way to organize under the bed is to group items together before putting them in their permanent storage solution under the bed. This way you will know where everything is.

Gayle Walker
Gayle Walker

Gayle Walker is a professional organizer and Life Doula a professional organizing service based in the US.

3. Using the wrong storage containers

Underbed storage ideas with woven drawer

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Using the wrong storage containers is a common mistake when organizing under your bed. Often when choosing which container to use people disregard the actual size of the space they are dealing with and don’t take vertical space into account at all.

When you choose which storage containers to use, the best thing to do is to measure out the space you have under the bed first. It is very easy to measure the width and the height of your bed so that you know exactly how much space you have to fill as you would not want any to go to waste.

There are a number of under-bed storage boxes on Amazon where you can store seasonal clothes, bed sheets or infrequently used items.

4. Not checking the space regularly

In order for you to maintain an organized and decluttered under-bed area you must regularly check and maintain it. This is especially important if you have children or pets and they can grab and move your things without you realizing.

Often daily life takes over and we find our clothes and other items in areas we did not expect them to be. So it is important to check the space under your bed regularly to make sure that nothing is getting lost or damaged.

5. Overloading the space

bedroom with black bed frame and free standing tub

(Image credit: Future PLC / Jan Baldwin)

According to cleaning expert Prerna Jain one mistake people make is jamming too many items under the bed. It’s often tempting to ignore its capacity and use it as a dumping ground.

It’s a mistake to treat under your bed as a catch-all area for random items. It's important to have a clear purpose and designated items for this space, rather than letting it become cluttered and overloaded.

Overstuffing under the bed without considering capacity can damage both the items and the bed frame and make retrieval a hassle.

Prerna Jain
Prerna Jain

Prerna Jain is the founder of Ministry Of Cleaning, a top-rated cleaning service with years of industry experience.


What items should be kept under the bed?

Items that are great for storing under the bed include bulky wardrobe items such as coats, scarves and hats, appliances you don’t use on a regular basis such as a fan, blow heater and curling irons. Under the bed can also be a good place to store gifts and packages you need for later. 

Organizing under your bed doesn't have to be a difficult task. Instead of storing away rarely used items and forgetting about them, periodically review and rotate the things you have stored and take note of what not to store under the bed. Use it for items you need access to occasionally, not for things you rarely use.

Seraphina Di Mizzurati
Contributing Editor

Seraphina is a contributing editor at Homes & Gardens, writing Solved features on organizing and storage. She loves to decorate and also grow her own produce from her home in London. Her previous experience includes working at Women's Health and Fabulous Magazine.